File System Aging 4 – Game Of The Past Edition

Hey come watch Rab Florence’s new weekly video series, made just for us. Part one, part two, part three.

In the fourth part of this series about games, time and loss, Rab remembers Unreal Tournament.

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This post was funded by the RPS Supporter program.


  1. C0llic says:

    Great as always.

    For me that game is Team Fortress 2. Although I’m certainly old enough to have played Unreal, I didn’t really have the internet as a teenager. I sunk so many hours into that game, and still love it. It’s slightly bittersweet for me though, since I can never really go back and play the same game from the orange box that I loved.

  2. Low Life says:

    Unreal Tournament is likely the most important game in my gaming “career”. Not necessarily the best one, nor my favourite one, but the most important. The real kicker is that I never played the game in multiplayer, it was exclusively – apart from a few LAN sessions – against bots. I didn’t even have a computer until a couple of years after the game launched – instead I spent afternoons and nights at a friend’s house, taking turns playing the game. I still remember the thrill of beating Xan for the first time, and the intense duels against Loque. Now every time I play a shooter I’m disappointed how it doesn’t feel like Unreal Tournament.

    If it wasn’t for World of Warcraft, Unreal Tournament would probably be my most played game ever. And it’s an extremely multiplayer-focused game that I almost never played in multiplayer. Crazy.

  3. Kleevah says:

    That point about nostalgia and this game is so very fitting for me too. I have probably played and enjoyed hundreds of hours more of the newer unreal games at this point, but nothing will ever top UT99. Those moments of intense low grav deathmatch on Morpheus, or that insanely hazardous flag run on Facing Worlds… there is just nothing else like it.

  4. Ashrand says:

    As ever the series is great!

  5. Viper50BMG says:

    @Low Life: I’m right there with you.
    I clocked so many hours in UT, but never actual multiplayer, just against bots, and occasionally in LAN teamplay with my sister and cousins. It took me months to realize that, at some point, I’d lowered the “Game Speed” setting in the options menu to somewhere around 80%, and I wondered why I was able to hold my own against impossible-level AI in deathmatch. Come to think of it, “Game Speed” is a crazy thing; being able to alter the pace of a fight while keeping tactics, strategy, etc. all the same is a fascinating feature, and I wonder how many more games kept that idea. UT’99 was also one of my first mod obsessions, as I delved into the “realism” of the “Infiltration” mod; so many ideas in that mod would go on to be standards in titles like ARMA, Red Orchestra, and Insurgency. Brilliant stuff.

  6. Kempston Wiggler says:

    UT99. Godlike.

    Like Mr Florence (Or Rab, if Mr Florence is his father), like the commenters here, I too feel like I left a very large and important piece of myself running arounf UT99’s corridors, chasing bots, chasing flags, chasing that amazing, zen-like feeling of being a fluid, poetic, balletic death-dealer. I adored Doom too but UT99 was where I began to love more than what the game presented me with, I learned to love the game as an endlessly configurable and moddable piece of code that rewarded my every effort to tinker with it.

    “Mutators” – a piece of veritable genius. A mod within the game itself. Best of all? Instagib. Glorious one-shot kills. Switch that on, load an 8-player map like Morpheus with 15 bots (or 31 if you modded the base game) and the experience of low-gravity fragging chaos – huge showers of gibs blasting into the ebon night – was transcendental. You were transported to a piece of enjoyment impossible in any other medium, and at that time impossible in just about any other game either.

    But my absolute favourite feature was getting to configure and name your own bots, and then select which ones you wanted to fight (none of this “Malcolm” 1-dimensional personality shit). I had 64 bots named after friends, co=workers and family, configured with new skins and models, each tailored to their real-world counterpart’s personality. Throw in a mod like Assassins (a simple Hunter vs Prey concept) and the game took on such MEANING.

    It’s been 15 years since that game was released but part of my soul never left it. I doubt it ever will.

    • Urthman says:

      I did that too, but I also had some mod that let me customize each of the bots, giving them a “favorite” weapon, different amounts of speed, skill, and health, and even some “powers” – like there was one guy whose health would go up for ever point of damage he dealt. Others whose shots had extra knockback or would slow you down. Then I would play the game with bots set on random, get thrown into a match, and sometimes say, “Oh, that guy. I hate that guy.” “Oh shit, it’s the life-stealer. Run away!”

      It gave the matches as much personality and continuity as Shadow of Mordor’s nemesis system.

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        Woah, really? What was that mod called??? Sounds amazing!

  7. Josh W says:

    I don’t think I’m a very nostalgic or brooding person, but there have been experiences in my life that have been substantially better than what came before or after in their own particular way, but I’ve not tried to chase down their equivalents. Because what I want is not what I had then, but the distance I traveled in going through it. (I’m being vague so this applies to games too)

    I’m looking for challenges that are ahead of my skill in the right way, opportunities that go beyond my familiar experience in the right ways. There’s a reason I stopped playing the games I loved long ago, and it’s sometimes because that experience was interrupted before it’s time, but it’s also because I went through a whole journey of playing them, when they started new, revealed their secrets, their amusing details, and their comfortable routines and maneuvers, and slowly became familiar.

    What I want then is not that old game again, but something that is to me now what that game was to me then.

    • Josh W says:

      But on the other hand, that’s not the core point I suppose, because there are familiar games I go back to, and do things with, games like certain kinds of food or that I can be totally in the mood for, that I know suit me. But I suppose I see those more like a Japanese tea ceremony than going to a place that brings back memories; I see them as existing in a kind of eternal present of traditions of living; by the side of the tv we have some boardgames, next to kettle we have some lovely tea, on the computer there’s always tetris and starcraft single player.

      If anything, thinking about this reminds me how much modern life messes up that lovely present, jams the time I could be spend taking my time, matching my moods, intensifying the goodness of every part of normal living. Living muffled within a set of perfectly formed comfortable habits is not exactly where I want to be, but I want to be closer to it than I currently am.

  8. rickmcdougl says:

    Peyton . true that Ethel `s postlng is astonishing, yesterday I got a new Acura from having made $5301 this-last/4 weeks and just a little over ten-k this past-munth . this is definitely the most comfortable work Ive had . I actually started 6 months ago and immediately brought home minimum $85… per-hour . try this out
    ———————->>> w­­­w­­­w.n­­­e­­­t­­­c­­­­a­­­­s­­­­h­­­­9­­­­9.c­­­o­­­mRe­­al
    Please Don’t Include Re­­al

  9. popej says:

    Great stuff again Rab, this really hits a chord with me.

    I played Unreal Tournament a lot but only really in single player which was surprisingly good fun. Counter-strike was the multi-player game for me.

    On a positive note every now and then a new game comes along that takes gives you new unforgettable experiences, Eve-Online came after CS and now Dark Souls has been handed the baton. I’m also a dirty console scrub so hopefully Bloodborne will continue the trend.


  10. Fenix says:

    This is such a strong series, and so underrated too I feel! I am super grateful for this, I don’t comment much, mostly just read but seeing so few comments on this prompted me to come out of the lurkin shadown and publicly thank you!

    Also man, UT99… I too have left parts of myself in those corridors.

  11. Monggerel says:

    There’s this moment in the second Prince of Persia game (1993). Possibly my earliest memory. First level ends with this gigantic running leap from a balcony to catch a departing boat. And the Prince just hangs there in the air, waiting for gravity to actualize his horrible mistake.

    t̴҉̷̼͖͕̙͈͖͍̦̪̞h̛̫͓̖̰̰̮͇̣̀͢a̢̛̛̯͓̯̻͕̟̺̬̖͎͎̯͕͓̯͓͠t̵̷̀͏̝̝̬̞̯̪͉͈̼̦̫̺̺͚̭̕ͅ ̨̥̦̣̠̗̣̹͘͘ͅi̶̸̴̟̺̥͕̘͎͉̭͞s̠̯̩̖͕̜̫͓̜̭̘̯̼̙̠̗̯͕̭͜ ̡̫̗̜͙͠n̕҉̶̶̦͕̻̩̞͖̳̣̦̰̙͡ò̵̸̶͉͕͕̜̱̠̹͔͙̦̱̯̤͎̦̬̙̦͜ͅt̸̷̞̰͔̪͔͕̪̖͕͉̬͚̹̲͜͝ ̼̰̥͕͔͖͙͍͙̬͉̤̦͚̦̞̟̹̩͜͠͠w̨͔̭͈͚̪̰̠̞̦͙͙̦̳͘h҉͏̞̝̝͓̮̯̹͎͖͙̯̪̥͔ͅa̙̩̮̤̠̟͉͉͈̲̝̝͞͝ͅṯ̵̨̧̲͓̠͔͕̪̙̜̺͖̠̼͡ ̸̛͉̩̘̻̟̗͝͝ͅh͚̝̫̤̭̀͘͝a҉̡̥͈͖͇͉̼͓͎̟̳̠̯̻̤͎ͅp̵̵͙͉̱̩͘͟ṕ̴̖͙͉̰̻̜͖̫̗͍͈̦͈̘͇̺̫͎è͍͔̮͕̞̼̲̗͍̭̟͜n͢҉̳͕̟̤͚̲͙̪͕͙̻͓̤͘é̛̥̪̜̖͚̝͎̟̺̣̥͔̮̟d̵̸̛̝̜̼̳̤̥͖̻̪͠ͅ

    What lives in my head as a desperate flight through rooftops capped off by a mortifying leap of faith is actually a silly back-and-forth shuffle with guards that once thrown from the rooftops kiss the dirt with a Looney Tunes splat, interspersed with slow and pixel-precise jumping exercises, followed by a casual and altogether very relaxed descent from the rooftops, then finally a slight jog across the jetty to jump after the caravel.

    However extraordinary the moment, it is only because I remembered something other than what actually happened.
    Delusion is hard to treasure.

  12. caff says:

    Love this series of videos. From the heart, well made, intriguing, thought-provoking. Reflective, but also raising awareness of your current way of thinking. A good move for RPS.

  13. mariamoran says:

    ᴍᴏɴᴇʏ ɪs ᴠᴇʀʏ ɪᴍᴘᴏʀᴛᴀɴᴛ ғᴏʀ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ.I ᴇᴀʀɴ ᴀ ʟᴏᴛ ʟᴏ ᴍᴏɴᴇʏ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴊᴏʙs.I ᴇᴀʀɴ ᴀᴛ ʟᴇᴀsᴛ 90$ ᴘᴇʀ ʜᴏᴜʀ,I ᴡᴏʀᴋ ᴀᴛ ʟᴇᴀsᴛ 5 ᴛᴏ 6 ʜᴏᴜʀs ᴀ ᴅᴀʏ ᴀɴᴅ ғᴜʟғɪʟʟ ᴍʏ ᴀʟʟ ɴᴇᴄᴇssɪᴛɪᴇs.ɪғ ʏᴏᴜ ᴀʟsᴏ ᴄᴀɴ ɢᴇᴛ ᴀɴ ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴊᴏʙ ᴘʟᴢ ᴠɪsɪᴛ ᴛʜᴇ sɪᴛᴇ ɢɪᴠᴇɴ ʙᴇʟᴏᴡ…….

  14. JB says:

    That swift shot from the greenhouse. Oof.

    Good work again, Rab. Keep it up.

  15. kerryvoyles says:

    Peyton . true that Ethel `s postlng is astonishing, yesterday I got a new Acura from having made $5301 this-last/4 weeks and just a little over ten-k this past-munth . this is definitely the most comfortable work Ive had . I actually started 6 months ago and immediately brought home minimum $85… per-hour . try this out
    ———————->>> w­­­w­­­w.n­­­e­­­t­­­c­­­­a­­­­s­­­­h­­­­9­­­­9.c­­­o­­­mRe­­al
    Please Don’t Include Re­­al

  16. LTK says:

    For all the repetition in this video, I feel like it was used in a good way. I heard the words but it took repeating them for me to understand what you were saying. I think I understand now.